Extra patrols for Super Bowl Sunday - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Extra patrols for Super Bowl Sunday

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) - If you're still lingering at a bar or at a Super Bowl party and you're about to head home - be careful. This is your warning not to drive drunk!

Extra police officers are out tonight looking for drunk drivers.

Some departments are adding fifty percent more officers on the road tonight. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most dangerous nights of the year with drunk drivers.

Beer and football go hand in hand, especially during the Super Bowl, but if you're driving after too many drinks, just know that Sgt. Marie Kemp is looking for you.

She's is one of many police officers patrolling the streets of Ashland tonight instead of watching the big game.

"We'd like to be enjoying the Super Bowl just like everyone is," Kemp said.  "But everyone has a job to do and sometimes we have to work and make sure everyone is safe."

She was called in to work for one reason: she's looking specifically for drunk drivers.

"It usually is one of our busier nights," she said.  "So many people are out and about."

Nearly a third of all driving deaths involves a drunk driver but on Super Bowl Sunday, that number jumps to nearly fifty percent.

That's why many local departments are trying to increase their visibility. Officers are looking for any sign that a driver might be drunk: swerving on the road, speeding or even driving too slowly can tip police off that someone may be drunk.

"When you've had a couple drinks and had too much to drink, you're not thinking clearly," Kemp said. "You're not making good decisions so that may be something you forget to do, turn your headlights on, stop at a stop sign, stop at lights."

A DUI conviction can be costly. A first time offender can get up to a year in jail, a $2500 fine and lose his or her license for a year. 

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